A few years ago my good friend Adelle Caunce, artist of Biguglyfishies.com, sculpted a paper mache goblin shark and photographed it for her website. Soon after it was picked up all over the internet by sites like reddit, i09, I F******ng Love Science, with articles assuming that this was a real photo of a real goblin shark and not a caricatured sculpture. At first it was funny because although it is a sculpture, no one seemed to be able to tell. However, after a while, Adelle and friends had a horrible realization, Adelle's photo of her sculpture was widely distributed all over the internet, memes were made, pins were pinned on pinterest, and yet there were no link backs or photo/artist credits made. Even today, when you google "goblin shark" you will find her photo along with real photographs of real goblin sharks with no link backs or credits.
The internet is a wild, crazy place, and for artists out there, we need to be careful about making sure our work is not distributed uncredited. There have been many horror stories all over the world of artists' work being made into all kinds of retail items from jewelry to pillows and ornaments by big name retailers who should know better. In this image hungry culture we live in, artists are easily taken advantage of, apparently. By the same token, as media users we should be very wary of news stories and images. Adelle's goblin shark was sited by scientists (!!!) in articles about the wonders of the deep.
I've added some credits hoping that google picks up the credited photo in searches for Goblin Shark.
In honor of Adelle's birthday, I painted an illustration and drink recipe of her goblin shark for a recipe book that her lovely husband Steve put together.
Painted in Photoshop using Adelle's Goblin Shark design.
Be sure to visit her site! She has a huge array of beautiful paper mache sculptures and has even been featured on tv! Biguglyfishies.com and biguglyfishies.blogspot.com